True Magic

Basic Rules
    The Arts
    Types of Magic
    Spell Levels
    Skill Rolls
    Limitations of Magic
    Magic Resistance
    Magical Enchantments
    Merits and Flaws for True Magic
Specific area magic rules (own files none written yet)

    Over and over again you hear the stories of great magics existing.  However, Thaumaturgical magic is a rather recent development made necessary by the advent of the Age or Reason.  Magic became harder to work because the Powers That Be (specifically God and the Weaver in a peace treaty) made it more difficult.  Eventually it became impossible to work due to the great amount of ability required even the greatest mages could only manage rather minor effects.  This magic allows the powerful magics of the olden ages.

    In some ways Thaumaturgy is more powerful but in other ways it is far weaker.  Thaumaturgy always requires the expenditure of personal power.  True magic does not.  However, true magic cannot produce certain types of effect without great difficulty
    This document defines a generalized system for working the type of magic where man manipulates specific laws of reality.  Spirit based magics and elemental based magics will have their own system.  Some practitioners may practice both paths.

Basic Rules
    This section defines a metasystem for magic.  It defines the basic workings of magics.  The specific rules of magic required for each system will be defined in each individual system.  Anyone who wishes to begin study under a magical tradition must pay 1000 IP into studying that tradition even if they already know a magical tradition.  These points must be spent before any IP can be spent on obtaining Arts.  If you are running a Magus game the 1000 IP is assumed to already be spent.  If you are playing a Magus from beginning you must spend 15 Freebie Points.

The Arts
    The Arts are what defines what a magician can do magically.  There are two types of Art.  Techniques and Forms.  Techniques define what that art does (examples: create, destroy, alter).  While Form defines what that Art can effect (animal, man, elements).  Both are necessary for any Art to function.
    The particular Arts are cultural specific (more likely the Forms are different than the Techniques).  Since the effectiveness of a particular Art may be different the multiplier for each skill may vary (though the multiplier is always at least x2).  All techniques use the same multiplier as the Forms present in that tradition.
Multiplier Description Examples
x2 Specific trees, shrubs, felines, self
x3 General plants, animals, fire, water, earth
x4 Broad elements, spirit, life
x6 Very Broad time, matter, Life (greater manipulations)

Types of Magic
    There are three ways to work magic.  Not all traditions have all three types of magical workings.  The three traditional workings are: Spontaneous magic, formulaic magic, and ritualistic magic.
    Spontaneous magic is the most flexible but the most chaotic.  True spontaneous mages can produce almost any effect but must have a greater degree of skill to offer a decent chance of success.  Spontaneous magic has between -5 to -15 depending on the path's spontaneous magic modifier.  Traditions that only use spontaneous magic often don't have as great a penalty for casting spontaneous magic.  Spontaneous magic can only effect what the caster can see.
    Formulaic magic is generally considered to be the balance point between spontaneous and ritualistic magic.  Formulaic magic has specific spell formula that produce the same effect each time.  Instead of scrambling to produce an effect from complex laws that you have studied you have studied a particular effect until you know it.  These spells are much quicker than ritualistic magic and do not require material components and great deals of time.  Formulaic magic can only effect what the caster can see.
    Ritualistic magic takes great deals of time and effort to produce an effect.  Rituals often require hours of set up before even the ritual can begin and then the casting itself may take hours more.  However, ritualistic magic can circumvent many of the disadvantages of magic (see limitations below).

Buying spells
Formulaic magic costs 2x(the spell difficulty) IP to learn
Ritualistic magic costs 3x (the spell difficulty) IP to learn


Spell Levels
    Each spell has a level of effect.  This level of effect is equal to the spell difficulty (listed with each spell) divided by five.  No mage can produce any magical effect where they do not have at least 2 points per level of effect in all the Arts involved in that magical effect.  (Note: some spells have additional requirements.  They do not effect the die rolls for the spell effect but the magus who has that effect must also have the requirement skill at the minimum level or the character cannot cast that magical effect).

Skill Rolls
    All rolls to work magic requires two rolls.  The character must roll for the Technique and for the Form.  If either of those rolls fail then both of them fail.  If either of them botch then only that one botches (see botches below).

    Spontaneous magic:
        1st roll: Technique + magical + d10 (difficulty is equal to spell difficulty + spontaneous magic modifier)
        2nd roll Form + magical + d10 (difficulty is equal to spell difficulty + spontaneous magic modifier)
    Formulaic magic
        1st roll: Technique + magical + d10 (difficulty is equal to spell difficulty)
        2nd roll Form + magical + d10 (difficulty is equal to spell difficulty)
    Ritualistic magic
        1st roll: Technique + ritual skill + magical + d10 (difficulty is equal to spell difficulty + 5)
        2nd roll Form + ritual skill + magical + d10 (difficulty is equal to spell difficulty +5)

Limitations of Magic
    Magic has certain limitations imposed upon it by natural law.  These natural laws can only be circumvented by the expenditure of Mana (explained below).

    Magic cannot:

    All these limitations may be circumvented with the use of Mana.

Magic Resistance
    Any practitioner of magic has a certain amount of resistance to any Forms they possess.  (Note if the forms are in a different system and they overlap this resistance is still used).  All spells that affect you directly or produce an effect that directly effects you (lightning bolt) can be resisted (though you may willingly not resist a spell).  Spells that effect you by changing your environment (earthquake spell) cannot be resisted.  This resistance is assumed to be up anytime a magic practitioner is the target of a spell using a Form they know.
    The targeted magical practitioner rolls Magical + Form + d10 difficulty is equal to the attacking character's roll on their own Form roll.  If he makes his roll then that magical effect has no effect on him.  If he fails this roll then the magic affects him normally.
    Magical resistance includes the Mage and anything that he wears or holds in his hands.  Though there are certain spells that may extend this range.

Spell Focus
    A spell focus is something that allows a magician to increase the effectiveness of a spell.  A spell focus adds a bonus to both of the caster's difficulty rolls.  The bonus ranges from +2 to +15.  Each spell focus is listed in the spell description.  Generally the rarer the spell focus is the greater the spell bonus.  A magician may have some choice about the spell focus to the spells that they create.
    A spell focus must be tied to the one who uses the focus.  This costs 1 Mana and 25IP/ point bonus.
    Not all magic systems use Spell Focuses.
Personal Focus
    A personal focus is a focus created by the caster that as long as the caster possesses it it both adds bonuses to all spell casting.  It also allows touch spells and magic resistance to be used through the focus.  The personal focus must be touched to allow the extened range of spells.  However, personal focuses are a constant tie to the creator.
    A personal focus must be tied to the creator.  To tie the focus to the creator follow the two charts below for cost. The character takes the Material cost from the first chart and multiplies it by the size multiplier in the second chart.
Material Base IP cost Base Mana cost Spell Bonus
cloth, glass 10 1 +1
wood, leather 15 1 +2
bone, soft stone 25 2 +3
hard stone 30 2 +4
base metal 40 3 +5
silver 50 3 +6
gold 75 3 +7
semi-precious gem 100 4 +8
precious gem 125 4 +9
priceless gem 150 4 +10

Size Multiplier Examples
tiny x1 ring, bracelet, pendant, gems
small x2 wand, dagger, belt, cap
medium x3 sword, tunic, boots, skull
large x4 quarter staff, large shield, cloak skeleton
huge x5 boat, wagon, human body, small room
    Not all magic systems use Personal Focuses.

Magical Enchantments
    Some magical traditions allow magicians to create magical things.  These enchantments function without the caster's power and in fact may function without the caster's presence and even after they are dead.
    The first step in creating any magical itemry is to invest it with your own energy.  The cost for investing an item is the same as the cost for creating a personal focus though a magician may create as many magic items as they have time and mana to create.
    The second step involves actually charging the magic into the items.  The basic cost for charging an item is one mana and 50 IP per spell level in the item.  No item may hold more spell levels than 3 times the spell bonus on the material's chart (above).  No item may have a single enchantment worth more than the material bonus in spell levels.

This cost is modified by the following chart:
Frequency of use Vim cost / IP cost Frequency of use Vim cost / IP cost
1 use per year subtract up to 10 from mana cost 12 / day +4 / + 75 IP
1 use per month subtract up to 5 from mana cost 24 / day +5 / + 100 IP
1 use per day +0 / + 0 50 / day +6 / + 150 IP
2  / day +1 / + 10 IP Unlimited +10 / + 200 IP
3 / day +2 / +25 IP Constant use +5 / + 100 IP
6 / day +3 + 50 IP Charges (10) * +0 / + 25 IP
 * the charges option assumes that the item may be used only a limited number of times before it simply runs out of energy.  This energy may be readded at a cost of 1 mana per 10 charges.  The item can hold 25 charges.

Not all magical systems use magical enchantment.

    Mana is present in limited locations all over the world.  In fact these locations became the Vitae locations of later years.  Mana is obtained from locations of power.  These locations of power slowly build up enough power to have sufficient energy to produce an amount that we will call a mana point.  There are probably between 1000 and 2000 points of power in our world at any given time but many of these regenerate slowly.
    Mana is a sort of metaenergy for the workings of magic.  Mana allows one to circumvent the natural laws of magic and removes the limitations of magic.  To do this requires the expenditure of 1 mana / spell level for each such removed limitation.  The expenditure of a mana point may also add +10 to a magical roll (magical resistance rolls as well).  To add +10 requires that the point of mana be spent before the roll.  All other points of Mana may be spent after the spell has been cast to increase the effectiveness of the spell.
    A magus may not hold more Mana in himself than his highest Art.  Some Mana may be earmarked for a particular Art and the mana may only be spent on that Art.  Once mana is taken into a particular mage it can be put into another mage or specially designed containers or spent those are the only ways to get rid of it.
    Most Mana producing locations produce between 1 and 5 Mana per month and hold between 15 and 25 if not used.  Many Mana producing locations have quirks associated with them (guarded by an Ogre, only produces life mana, anyone using that mana has an eerie aura, etc.)

    True magic is a little less dependable than Thaumaturgy.  The combination of two separate skills creates a much more difficult or lucky roll.   The effect of a botch are varied depending on the precise roll.
    The table below is for the roll on the botch d10.  This roll must also be rolled once for each die.
die roll effect
1-8 No flub just a failure
9-0 Use the flub chart below for effect
The possible situations and effects are:
Technique Botch Failure Successful Major Success
Form (Botch) 1 5 9 13
Form (Failure) 2 6 10 14
Form (Success) 3 7 11 15
Form (Major Success) 4 8 12 16

  1. Add +5 to the use of both Arts for the remainder of the day.
  2. No effect
  3. The power of the form is accurately accessed but the target is wrong somehow (hitting Joe with the lightning bolt instead of evil mean baddy).
  4. The power of the form is accurately accessed and is in fact more powerful than normal but the target is wrong somehow (Hitting Joe with a double power lightning bolt instead of the regular target).
  5. No effect
  6. No effect
  7. No effect
  8. No effect
  9. The power of the technique is accurate but the effect is has on the target is different somehow. (Turning joe into a frog instead of a warhorse)
  10. No effect
  11. No effect
  12. No effect
  13. The power of the technique is accurate and in fact is more powerful than normal but effect on the target is wrong somehow. (Turning Joe into a frog for twice as long as normal instead of the warhorse he was supposed to turn into)
  14. No effect
  15. The power of both technique and form are correct.
  16. The power of both technuque and form are correct and more powerful than normal (Hitting Evil mean baddy with a double power lightning bolt)

Timeperiods and their effect on True Magic
    Magic became more difficult during and after the Age or Reason.  True magic never became impossible but it became so difficult that it might as well be impossible.  This more difficult magic appears to be another side effect of the loss of freeflowing mana in the world.
    To help facilitate this I have created an world aspect called Magical Power (MP).  The higher the MP level the easier is the workings of Magic.
    MP level on any LeyLines is considered to be 2 higher than the MP of the world at large.  MP on any Vitae Pools is considered to be 4 higher than the MP of the world at large.  The highest MP level is level 10 the lowest is 0.
MP Level Description Example
10 Difficulties to work magic are 15 lower Arcadia
9 Difficulties to work magic are 10 lower Heaven, Hell
8 Difficulites to work magic are 8 lower Sundering world after 3 wave
7 Difficulities to work magic are 5 lower Ancient World (before 1000 BCE), Sundering world after 2nd wave
6 Difficulities to work magic are 3 lower Ancient World (before 1000 CE)
5 Difficulties are base Medeval World (before 1400 CE), Sundering world after 1st wave
4 Difficulties are 5 higher Medeval World ( before 1425 CE)
3 Difficulities are 10 higher Medeval World (before 1450 CE)
2 Difficulties are 15 higher Medeval World (before 1500 CE)
Difficulties are 20 higher Between 1500 and 1600 CE
0 Difficulties are 30 higher After 1600 CE

Merits and Flaws for True Magic

Adept Student +2 merit
    The character learns spells particularly easily.  The cost to learn a spell is only 1/2 what it would normally be.

The Blatant Gift -2 flaw
    Your magic causes difficulty when dealing with others.  Normal people and animals feel nervousaround you Add +3 to any applicable social rolls.

Cautious Sorcerer +3 Merit
    You are especially good with a specific kind of magic.  Anytime you botch that Art roll again.  If you roll between 1 and 5 it is a botch if you roll 6 or above it counts as a regular botch.

Chaotic Magic -5 flaw
    Your magic may go beyond your control.  If you gain more than two successes more than you needed to cast the spell on either Art then the roll is successful but out of the caster's control.  The sideeffect may be more powerful than the original effect or simply strange.

Cyclic Magic +2 Merit
    Your magic is attuned to some cycle of nature. (the sun, the moon, the tides etc).  When the cycle is at its height you gain a +5 to your roll however, when the cycle is at its low you add +5 to the difficulty. The cycle must be regular and equal out over a full cycle.

Deft Art +2 Merit
    You are particulary adept at handling difficulties with your Art.  Any difficulty modifiers not supernatural in nature are halved with that Art.

Deleterious Circumstances -1 to -5 flaw
    Under certain circumstances you do not cast magic as well.  The more common the circumstances the more the flaw is worth.  Add +5 to the difficulties for all spells cast while under the circumstance.

Extra Spells  +2/level merit
    For each point in this merit you get 2 extra spell levels to purchase your spells.

Focus Requirement -2 flaw
    This flaw can only be purchased  if focuses are used in your magical form.  You are required to use a focus with any spell you cast. If the spell is formulaic the focus must be the listed spell focus.  If the spell is spontaneous it must be a focus that can be related in the caster's mind (storyteller's choice).

Inventive Genius +4 merit
    You have a special nack for creating new spells and magic items.  Double the IP gained anytime you are working on such a task.

Magical Affinity +3 Merit
    You have an affinity for a particular magic.  Add +5 to the roll anytime that magic is used.  The character cannot purchase but one such affinity.

Magical Deficiency -3 Flaw
    You have a deficiency for a particular magical art.  Add 5 to the difficulty anytime that magic is used.  The character cannot have but one such deficiency.

Mana Source +2/level merit
    You have a Mana source that you can call your own.  You gain 1 Mana per month per level in this merit from this source.  You do not start the game with any stored.  This Mana source may be used against you in the game since other Magus will desire the Mana for themselves.

Method Caster +3 merit
    This merit is only allowed in a nagical system that includes both formulaic and spontaneous magic.  You are a very skilled formulaic caster.  As long as you are able to cast the spell exactly the same you gain a +5 to your roll.  This requires that the magus be completely untied and have full freedom of movement (unless they chose to have practiced the magic tied up then they must be tied to get this bonus)

No Formulaic Magic -5 flaw
   You cannot cast Formulaic magic at all.  However you gain +5 to cast any spontaneous magic.  There must be formulaic and spontaneous magic in your magic system to take this flaw.

No Spontaneous Magic -5 flaw
   You cannot cast spontaneous magic at all.  However you gain +5 to cast any formulaic magic.  There must be formulaic and spontaneous magic in your magic system to take this flaw.

Painful Magic -4 flaw
    Casting magic spells is painful for you.  Anytime you complete casting a spell you must make a Will + Resist Pain Torture check at difficulty 12.

Poor Formulaic Magic -5 flaw
    You are not good at formulaic magic.  Anytime you cast a formulaic spell add +5 to the difficulty.  Formulaic magic must be used in your magic system to allow this flaw

Restricted Magic -3 to -8 flaw
    You cannot cast magic under certain circumstances.  The more common the circumstances the more the flaw is worth.

Slow Caster -4 flaw
    You cast magic slowly.  Nonritualistic spells take twice as long to cast.  Ritualistic spells may be cast normally since everyone must cast them slowly.

Special Circumstances +1 to +5 merit
    You cast magic better under certain circumstances. The more common the circumstance the more the merit is worth.  When under that circumstance add +5 to the character's magic rolls.

Spontaneous Magus +5 merit
    You are an especially gifted spontaneous magus.  Add +5 to the roll on any spontaneous magic.

Warped Magic -2 flaw
    Your magic has an odd side effect.  Maybe flashes of light accompany your magic or the smell of wildflowers.  This makes your magic obvious to any who know of your flaw.  Others who do not know your flaw will know something funny is going on and may suspect witchery.
Beastial  Lillanite Vampire Camarilla Vampire Sabbat Vampire Anarch Vampire